Top Second-Generation Idol Shares His Battle With Rare Cancer


A top second-generation idol, INFINITE‘s Woohyun, shared his battle with a rare form of cancer.

In an interview with TheKoreaTimes ahead of his solo comeback, Woohyun revealed he was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST).

Woohyun | Blade Entertainment

GIST is an extremely rare form of cancer, which is known to affect only 10 out of 1 million people.

In my case, the urgency of surgery was non-negotiable, so I quickly held my fan events and performances in January and February before undergoing surgery.

— Woohyun

Woohyun also shared he did not know just how grueling the recovery process would be with his surgery, but received a lot of support.

I later realized that the scale was more extensive than I had thought,” he recalled. “After the surgery, I had to refrain from drinking water for almost three weeks and got a 20-centimeter scar on my stomach. I even had to attach a blood bag.

In addition to the support from my parents, the elderly whom I encountered at the hospital offered tremendous encouragement to me. The nurses, in their caring manner, also inspired me to recover, release new music and pursue my passion as a singer.

— Woohyun

Due to his surgery and the recovery process, Woohyun was at risk of even losing his career. He still cannot perform at the same level as he could before his surgery.

I feel as if I were reborn after the surgery. My thoughts have deepened and I’ve achieved musical maturity. My first album following my battle against cancer encapsulates much of this journey. For those who are facing hardships in their lives, I hope my music can serve as a source of courage, inspiring them to overcome challenges like I did.

My doctor told me that I might not be able to regain my past singing ability. My musical journey has become four to five times more challenging as I currently suffer from breathing problems when I perform. While it may seem premature to resume my musical activities, I still made a swift comeback because I couldn’t delay it any longer. I wanted to show my fans my improved state.

— Woohyun

Woohyun will be making his comeback with his first album WHITREE on November 28, 6pm KST.

 He purposely hid it from his fans. 

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